Great pics of cornholes and other useful wood products for your home and garden.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

AND THE WINNER IS......the envelope please...

Recently, I showed a picture of an item I made for my son's wife's mother. That would make her my daughter-in-law, so it's her mother. Anyway, it's her birthday and Dana (daughter-in-law) showed me a picture of this cross looking thing. So, Debbee and I went to the spot where she saw it so that I could get measurements and see just what this thing was and how it was made.

It turned out to be at a local nursery, and the PLANT HANGER had been there for years. It was eight feet tall with a span of six feet and a couple braces supporting the span from sagging under the weight of two huge baskets of flowers.

The nursery used an outdoor 4x4 post for the mast, and an outdoor 2x4 for the supports and the span.
(I say "outdoor" because I can't spell "wool-men-ized") You get the picture.

I went one better and got a 4x4 for the mast and the span and outdoor 2x4's for the supports.

I made a half-lap joint where the span and mast meet, and a small groove in the span for the supports to sit in to help relieve the weight on the supports. I used lag screws for the supports to the span and mast and carriage bolts and then I countersunk washers and nuts and you have one strong PLANT HOLDER.

My son picked it up in a truck on Sunday and I told him that if his mother-in-law gets tired of hanging plants, they could use it for a swing set.

The nice thing about this item is that anyone can make it and it costs about $25.00 in material. And you can hang a lot of flowers and brackets all around the mast and hooks galore across the span.
Let your imagination go!

AND NOW THE MOMENT WE HAVE ALL AWAITED.......(drum roll...........)

JEAN N of SOUTH EUCLID was the first to guess correctly and wins a hand crafted plant stand from the good people at Lake County Cornhole, aka, WWW.LCCORNHOLE.COM

Jean could not be with us today, so accepting the prize is her good friend, Homer.

Thanks to everyone who sent an email guessing the "thing". Some were quite imaginative, and unprintable.

Next up....the WHITE CORNHOLE boards.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hardest worker in recent memory - revised 6/28

I am sure you have heard the phrase "opinions are like (you know what), cause everyone has one"? This writing is off my usual cornhole banter, but I just gotta get this onto "paper" and off my mind.

I recently had an encounter with a man named Ed Painter. He is doing electrical work in the house so that we can get air conditioning. (I only hope we will use it this summer)
Meeting Ed was not so unusual. Nice fellow, mild mannered, and went right to work the minute he showed up at the house on Friday morning unloading material and tools and taking them to the basement.

And he did not stop!

He told me what he was going to do and he did it. And just kept going.
For nine straight hours, he was at the side of the house, then to the basement, then to the side again, and to the basement. Over and over, all day.

My wife said he stopped and ate lunch while standing at the side of his van.
Then it was back to work.
My dad was a hard worker, and my brothers, and I like to think I was a hard worker in my day as well.
But this guy went far beyond that. I'm talking marathon here!
Now, I know there are guys and gals that have their own stories of things that they have done that may very well compare. But this guy is 56, and I am here to tell you, he did not stop until it was done.

Please don't give me the old "that's what he's paid to do" line. Save that for politicians.
Give credit when it is due.

And my hat goes off to Ed Painter, hard working guy. One of the hero's of the American work force, or what's left of it.

Sonny boy says if you gonna give a "shout-out" at least put in the contact info for the business. So ok, here it is:


There! Now I feel better and can get back to the Cornhole Saga.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Now what? Name this thing! is sitting on sawhorses. I will give you a is upside down. It is 10 feet tall and 6 feet across the top (bottom in the photo).

Tell me what it is and I will send you a really nice plant stand if you guess correctly.

See photo below!

Here's what you will win!

It is about 9 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall.

Or use it for a foot stool. Standing on round stools is NOT recommended because of a tipping point in the middle at the edge. It says right on them, "NOT MADE FOR STANDING".

Email you answer to . First correct answer in is the winner.

Also, go to to see more fun stuff that is very useful for the home, inside and out.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Greatest Cornhole Board ever made

If one more person asks me "is that a Fathead"? POW, right in the kisser.

I don't know how to top this one.

One legged table is here!

Two holes are large enough for a liter of power drink of whatever comes in liters and two holes are large enough for regular sized soda cans. Or "whatever" comes in regular sized cans. Someone say MGD?

Here's the really cool part! The table comes as three pieces. One is the main table top. Two, the leg and three is the "ugly stick". The "ugly stick" has a hole in it that goes over the leg and you strike it to get the leg, that is pointed at the other end, to go into the ground. "Ugly stick" is used so you don't hit the leg directly, thus "mushrooming" the end. Because.....the leg has to fit into a hole in the underside of the table and if you hit it directly, you could make the end get bigger than the hole it has to go into in order to function. This is called "mushrooming". So, I have supplied an "ugly stick" to avoid this problem.

Now, this table is not as long as the white one. but it serves the same function. A nice feature is, say for example, everyone is off to sit down away from the one legged table. No problem! Just pick up the whole table with the drinks in place and go sit. The table will sit on any flat surface, bench, picnic table or directly on the ground. So it would serve as a tray as well.

Plus the center is designed to hold a standard seven inch plate.

And one more nice feature is that two stemmed glasses can be supported on the ends. Once again, leaving your hands free to play your game. And finally. The hole on the underside is standard one inch. So you can use any standard dowel rod or pipe to move your table from place to place without having to remove the leg.

  1. Holds most any large and regular sized containers without getting knocked over.

  2. Holds stemmed ware comfortably.

  3. Room for snacks with its seven inch center "landing pad".

  4. Sits flat when not on the leg.

  5. Can be used anywhere, home and away.

  6. Lots of room to keep items like an ashtray.

So no more spilled cans or paper cups that were sitting on the ground.

The one legged table. Brought to you by Lake County Cornhole.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cleveland Corporate Challenge 2008

Last time we talked, I mentioned the Cleveland Corporate Challenge (hereafter referred to as the CCC) and I was discussing the boards that were being used in the games at the Cleveland Amory.
Well! The tournament I referred to was in 2008, not 2009 as I mentioned . I was laid off in January 2009, so I hardly participated in the CCC that started in June.
Also, I was talking about the boards being made from MDF and how I would like to try that material just like the Challenge used. Wrong again!
In looking at the website for this years Challenge, I saw the picture of a cornhole board and remember now that they were actually a plywood laminate with birch surface and no visible coating. Maybe they used a satin varnish, but nothing to make it glossy or slippery.

I am not involved in it except to play in it once. I have no reason to promote it, except to say it is a pretty good idea. They have a website that explains everything, but here is how I see it in a nutshell.
Someone got this idea (like I said it is a good idea, actually) to get companies from Cleveland to enter teams to participate in a bunch of games (I think this year it is thirteen) spread out over a two month period for fun and bragging rights. Don't know if any trophies are handed out, but the games are fun and pretty well organized.
It is set up for fairness, such as, men and women play at the same time on the same team. There was softball, kickball, miniature golf, walking, pool and many others including cornhole.
The teams are in divisions by company size and points are awarded for different events. You can get in on some or all of them if you like. Pick and choice your events and just have fun at it.
Well! In the company where I worked, it was no secret that I was king of making cornhole sets. Just in my area, I made (sold) nine sets, including one for the company for anyone to use, and got paid for that one also.
This lead to the assumption that I then must be a expert thrower of the corn bags as well. Not necessarily true. Just because I can cut a hole and glue and screw some wood together, does not make me the Nolan Ryan of cornholes.
Our recreation director (she is actually an office worker that sat in our area, but was not in our division) was setting up this whole Corporate Challenge with managements blessing. The rest of us still had to work, but that's for another blog under a different category.
I was not going to participate anyway, so it mattered not to me who was organizing what. No reason. Just did not want to. Didn't feel like it! Besides, I really don't want to hang with the people I work with. Don't want to see them at work. Sure don't want to see them on weekends.
Well, one morning, the recreation director was discussing the teams and schedules with the VP and the company owner when I heard the VP speaking to me from across the room.
((( from here on, only initials in place of the real names)))
"This is perfect for you! You do it" as he walked my way, waving the schedule in his hand.
"And T and C will be on your team. J already said she would if you do. You would make the needed fourth. What do you say?" I could handle C for a day, but T and J? Oh, please, shoot me now. Well, if I could work with T, C and J, and the VP was asking, I suppose I could give it a try.
Besides the VP had signed up for something, so I guess that was a good example, so I said, "ok, fine". So we had two men and two women, which was the requirement.
Our games were two weeks away, and were scheduled for a Saturday morning at the Cleveland Amory.
We would practice during lunch hour on the grass beside the building on the company boards that I built.
And did we ever need the practice!
We were pretty average. Even for a company picnic team. Coaching was needed for J, though. She had not a clue. No competitiveness whatsoever.
"This was just for fun", she said. She was right, but if I have to get up and dressed on a Saturday to drive downtown, we had better make some sort of showing.
I'm not sure if she hit the board once during two weeks of practice or not. No matter. It was double elimination, so from what I saw, we would be home in time for lunch.
It was very hot on that Saturday in June. We all met at the Amory, and WOW! Impressive! The Amory is a one big meeting hall that reminds you of a big gymnasium and it was full of cornhole boards. My guess is 40 sets. That's 80 boards. Lined up in four columns. The building is old with a great history, though, I really am not sure just what the history might be. Gotta look that one up.
Lots of light through the hundreds of windows surrounding the two sides, plus the lighting inside. But no a/c. And it was a hot July day. With predictions of rain later in the morning. It was already smelling like a locker room from the 50's.
But we should be home by the time the rains come.
We check in, find our boards, warm up a little and then the call comes to begin playing. All volunteer officials.
Shake hands with a younger group of players and we're off.
Now! Here is how this works for the CCC. Four players per team. Two men and two women at each board from each team. Each player throws two bags, ALTERNATING SHOTS. That means throw and wait. No chance to get a rhythm going, which I guess is the idea.
The scoring is regulation cornhole style. If you need to know that, check the web under ACA rules of scoring.
Ok, where were we? Oh yea, the call to begin.
Game one. T and C and myself are pretty competitive. We often have words over issues in the office and none of us are afraid to speak up, except J. Everything is sunshine and lollipops for her, so competition is not in her vocabulary, nor is "I'm on the board". Just always polite, friends with everyone and all la-de-da in a "no pressure job". Ok, that's another blog again.
Oh C'mon! Try to hit a board! Surprised she could hit the floor.
No need to. Somehow, we won game one. But how? Unbelievable!
We just look at each other and wonder.
A few minutes of waiting for the other teams finish up. Then we will know who and where we play next.
Game two. Are you kidding me! We won game two! J has yet to hit a board, yet the three of us are playing beyond expectations.
Remember! We are playing against four "kids" in each match so far. There total ages are probably around 100. While ours is more like 200 plus. And yet, we are in the winners bracket.
The usual wait then on to game three. Yep! Another win. What is going on here? That's three in row.
And now they are talking about us. The "older team" they call us. And we are gathering a following. These are the teams that are eliminated already. They are hanging around to see what is going on with us.
I should give some details on how close some of the matches were, and how it came down to the last throw and blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I don't remember each game or how it played out. I only remember winning game four and being hungry.
It was time for an official break and being home for lunch was long gone, so might as well eat here.
Yummy! Warm pop from a cooler and cold pizza from when the make shift concession tables opened this morning. Oh good, a Snickers!
Even better: rain. Up until now, the fans were running full blast and the doors were open. But with the wind whipping, they had to close the doors to protect the flooring.
So far, we have been playing winners only. But now we play someone from the loser bracket.
And I should remember the team name, but I don't. We played them earlier and won, but now, we are at the point that we need to win just one more and we will be champions of a tournament that no one ever heard of before, but it will be great, because we are all competitive people by nature. Except J. She has a look on her face, like she should be home for something. Maybe she'll think if she hits a board it will speed things up and she can go home sooner. Which means she is partially right.
US Endoscopy sticks in my head, but I'm just not sure. I looked it up before this blog, but could not find the achieves. Must try again.
Ok, so here we go.
Ok, maybe not. We loss 11-0. Wow! That stung! Maybe the rest was not the best thing.
Everything is even now. Almost everyone is gone. A few hangers on to see what is going to happen, I know a few are hanging around because there is a party downtown and the young guns are partying tonight. But there is still one game to play. We get a short break to gather our thoughts and it time again. One more time.
And it was fun. We had a lead at one point, but they proved to be just too good. One fellow was very consistent and I had a hard time keeping up with him. T handled the girl ok, but the young lady got stronger near the end. The game was lost at the other end where J hit nothing and C faltered. No way they could keep up.
It was over! We now lost two in a row and were done and they were the champs. Congratulations.
But I made it home for dinner anyway.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to shop for a cornhole set

Ok. What is the stuff pictured in the two photos?

Debbee and I were sitting outside this week on one of the pleasant evenings. She likes reading, and I like to run ideas by her, which sort of interferes with someone who is reading.

I keep my ideas short and to the point. More than I can say for my blogs.

Anyway. I took her about a new design for the cornhole table. That's the one legged table that is put into the ground anywhere that you are and can be moved about. Made and sold two of them in the past year. It holds cans or glasses from being knocked over and has room for a 7" plate in the center.

She did not particularly like the new way I described it and thought that the old way was best. This is what I told her:

The old style had one leg with metal threads coming out of the top of the leg that screwed into a bracket fixed to the underside of the table. (You have seen this bracket and leg if you ever made you own table or stand. Mostly used to raise a bed off the floor. The legs come in various lengths and the brackets are sold right along side the legs because you will need the bracket for the leg to work)

My new style is the same one leg, but no bracket to screw into. Instead, there will be a hole through the bottom plate and the middle spacers.

See picture:

You can't see the spacers in this picture, but imagine a hole the same diameter (actually slightly larger) than the leg in the bottom and in the spacers.Then the table will sit over the leg.
And it is free to swivel, though I don't know why this would matter. But wait! There's more! The whole table can be used as a tray and sit flat on any surface. No bracket underneath to make it rock around. And more yet!. We will supply a rubber hammer (I don't want the leg to "mushroom" if hit with your steel hammer) to knock the leg into the ground. It will hang somewhere around the table. Have not thought that one through yet.
She still did not like it.
The two photos above? They are the parts to the prototype of the newly designed cornhole table. I will try it out this weekend and let you know how it works out.


Something else that I have been wanting to try ever since I was in the Cleveland Corporate Challange Cornhole Tournament way back in 2009. A cornhole surface that is fantastically smooth, requires not sanding on my part and edges that do not need planing. MDF. All the boards at the tournament, and there must have been sixty of them, were made from MDF and the frames were white wood, or pine. It was apparent that these were factory made, but the point is, they played very well. I would have thought there would have been more sliding off then usual, but the surface rewarded you for your shot. Meaning, a nice lob and it would land and slide very little. But a low line drive throw and the bag would go flying off as it should. There was a good feel as to the actual weight of the boards, though slightly lighter than the conventional boards I make. But they did hold the floor well when it in spite of the fact it was a gym floor at the Cleveland Amory. I may try making a set using this MDF and a pine frame. Painting will be fun as MDF hold paint very well and looks great.


  • Regulation size. The board should be 48" x 24". Front edge of the board should be off the ground by 3" and the rear, 12" . The hole should be centered on the width, and be 9" to center from the rear, or 6" to the edge of the hole from the rear.

  • The bags shall me made of duck cloth, six inches square, filled with corn and weight 14-16 ounces each. There should be eight bags, two colors of four each.

  • Should be made of a wood surface even though I just expounded on the virtues of MDF. The drawback to MDF is weather. They must not get wet. Whereas, the standard wood boards should not get wet, it would not be as horrific as with the MDF. The wood boards could be dried off later, allow to dry, and played on for a very long time. MDF will probably swell up and split very quickly.

  • Leaving something nicely made outside is never a good idea, but you could do it once in a while and get away with it if they are wooden.

  • Wooden boards give that nice "thud" when the bag hits.

  • The bags should not slide far on the board when thrown in a nice arc. Control is important and has rewards.

  • Stay away from any games sold by the major sporting goods chains. They are usually plastic, or some composite material that they advertise can "fold for easy carrying". Really? Folds?

  • Also, watch out for deals on smaller sets. 36" x 20" is not a deal. It is not even regulation.

  • If you are looking for a toy, then have at it. Otherwise get the real thing. Buy it from me or make it yourself. Just do it right! And you will a happier person for it.

A family member had a get-together and someone (we will call him Joe Smartypants) brought his "baggo" game bought at that leading store I mentioned. My family member brought his original "Penn State custom made by me" cornhole set. Smartypants said "we should have a contest so let's set them up side by side". Big mistake! It did not take long before the brand X was put back into the car and probably returned to the store.

Embarrassed Joe? You should be! Remember: "you get what you pay for".

I see boards everywhere and I stop to check out the competition. Mostly mass produced outside the USA and not to my standards. And always smaller.

I did not invent the game. I only maintain the integrity of those who did.

So don't just be cool like Joe, be cool and smart.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ready to go, no waiting

I like to think that I may be improving with my writings. Though I may not have a best seller, I really do enjoy writing and would like to thank the News Herald for the community media for which they have given us this opportunity to express ourselves in hopes someone will actually read it someday and have the same fun reading it as we did writing it.

Pictures at the beginning are a nice touch, don't you think?

The boards pictured above were just finished and went straight to Craigs list for starters, before being advertised in the News Herald for the weekend in time for Fathers Day. (should that be capitalized) A good writer would have known that!

This is a spec set, meaning no one ordered it and they were made in hopes someone wants them. They are mix or match. Pick two and you have your set. Bags to match. Great idea! My son, Jason, (you can find him at had the idea. "You gotta have something to get right away, something they can just pick up", he said. "Some people want them right now". I never thought of that before. Mine were always wait for an order than start to build them.

This is a good idea. But these are not actually the first ones. The first ones to put "into stock" were the red, white and blue, shown several blogs ago. Remember? One with 50 stars and another with 13 stars accompanied by a couple solid red, white and blue striped boards.

They were for stock and a fellow saw them on Craig's list and wanted one right away. Great idea, Jason!

The other was sold to a friend of Jason after he told them I had them in stock.

Maybe there is something to this "in stock" thing.

Last year, I remember people would call and ask if they could be "picked up" right away and I had to tell them at least three weeks was needed for a custom board set.

A great idea just came from my neighbor Steve. He saw me outside with all the boards pictured above when I was taking photos. He came over to inquire the cost. Then he asked for a blank board set.

He said that he would paint it himself some color of off-white or white and have friends use it for their graffiti wall then when filled to his liking, he would top coat to keep forever.

What a novel idea!

I have often thought of having my grandaughters, Abby and Livi, paint one themselves just to see what they do. I would supply colors of the rainbow, they love the rainbow, and see where it goes.

When they were younger however, this idea would have ended up as solid gray, as they would have colored over everything with every color. But now, I think it would be better. I think this would be a good time to try it.
You can always sand it and start over again. That's the magic of working with wood.

Friday, June 3, 2011

More than just cornholes, ya know!!

This is probably the sixth three tier display that I have made. To me, I find them easy on the eye, yet completely functional from a display standpoint. This item came from a book I had previously mentioned. The "Big Book of Weekend Woodworking".

With each project, the author gives a little story of the item regarding where he first saw it, or why he thinks it would be a good project, or both.

This item, he says, was spotted in a New England antique shop and was used for exactly what it was named. A three tier display. The shop displayed antiques on the three shelves and never gave thought to actually selling the shelf itself. That was until the author made a big deal of the display, and even then, the shop keeper said that it was not for sale. At least, not at that time.

So it was included in the project book, and Debbee thought it would make a good one. And we did.

The original and first (probably one and the same, isn't it?) one was made exactly to the book, including the colors, which were green painted legs with natural shellac shelf pieces.

After that, one was made shorter. And after the first one, all were stained and not painted. The next one I make will be a solid color paint. No reason. Just a change of pace. Sometimes staining gets boring. Besides, not everyone is infatuated with the grain of wood like I am. I think all the lines that come through a clear stain is just wonderful. Like veins running through the wood, and comes to life with a good stain.

I remember where they were sold as well.

The original one (the first one) was sold at the Eastlake Flea Market two years ago. The lady wanted to use it outdoors. I told all about the three coats of polyurethane on the shelves and how she could use more if she wanted. Another at the Painesville Flea Market two years ago. Young couple had there eye on it since I opened in the morning and they came back mid afternoon. There were two on display, a dark walnut and even darker walnut. And she really liked the one with a lot of vein markings in the wood. It was a dark walnut and the marks just came right out at you. I remember making a deal with her. She was really nice and they seemed like the type just starting out and she wanted to display some things she had been collecting.

That's me alright! A rough, tough mean old man! No deals from me, honey!

Ok, just this once. But don't tell anyone. Ya know, my reputation and all.

She picked a good one and it did look nice.

My daughter has one. Probably the other one from Painesville.

One was sold at Richmond Heights Craft Show. Yes, two years ago. It was the short one. Normally, they are around three feet tall. This one was more like two feel tall. Exactly the same width for all the shelves. It was really cute. Plus it was clear coated with shellac. Really shined.

I want to say that she bought a regular sized one as well, but I'm just not sure.

So how many is that? Eastlake one, Painesville two, my daughter three, Richmond Heights four, and two in my back room. That's six, or seven depending on Richmond Heights.

Whatever! I like making them and they are snazzy. Couple more three tier then a couple of leaning shelves, then a couple of "free standing cornhole tables" (FSCT).

Maybe I should do the FSCT first since summer if almost here and it is backyard season.

Here's the prototype of my first FSCT. By the way, it sold at Eastlake Flea Market. Guess when?

The leg, which is pointed like a pencil on the end, was painted to match the table. The two open holes on the end can hold wine glasses. Because they hang down, the table allows for that at each end. The holes on the table can hold a regular sized can of soda or a gatorade, since gatorade bottles are larger than pop cans. And with all that, there is still room in the middle for a regular sized paper plate, or real plate, or ashtray or whatever you want to put there.

And the best part is, it is two pieces. The leg screws into the table. Pretty cool, no?

But that is for the next story and so is some craft show and flea market fun.

See you next time!